- Thunderbolt External Drives
- 4 Tb Thunderbolt External Hard Drive For Os Xp
- 4 Tb Portable Hard Drives
- 2 Tb External Hard Drive
What is a Thunderbolt hard drive? Do you know Thunderbolt interface? Is Thunderbolt the same as USB-Type-C? If you don't understand these questions, you can read this post, in which MiniTool introduces Thunderbolt interface and Thunderbolt hard drive to you.
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Introduction to Thunderbolt Hard Drive and Thunderbolt Interface
As the name implies, a Thunderbolt hard drive is a hard drive with a Thunderbolt interface, which is a technology developed by Intel in collaboration with Apple.
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Thunderbolt is a data transmission protocol combining PCI Express data transmission technology and DisplayPort display technology. Therefore, it can transmit data and video signals at the same time.
So far, the Thunderbolt interface has developed to the third generation: Thunderbolt 3. Thunderbolt 1 and 2 are integrated with Mini DisplayPort (a physical port), while Thunderbolt 3 is integrated with USB Type-C (a physical port). Therefore, Thunderbolt 3 is incompatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2.
In this post, I will mainly focus on Thunderbolt 3, because Thunderbolt 1 and 2 are not popular due to the following reason: their physical ports are Apple Mini DPs, which cannot be used in other electronic devices; therefore, not many manufacturers support them.
Thunderbolt interface is usually used as an interface for connecting external devices. Therefore, people usually compare it with the USB interface.
Do you really know USB-Type-C and Thunderbolt 3?
Since the USB Type-C specification was released in 2014, many new 3C devices such as Android mobile devices, laptops, desktops, and even game consoles have begun to use this connection port.
USB Type-C port can accommodate multiple protocols. The more protocols it accommodates, the more functions it can implement. The USB Type-C port can accommodate the following protocols:
Data Transmission Protocols: USB 2.0 (480Mbps), USB 3.0 (5Gbps), USB 3.1 (10Gbps), USB 3.2 (20Gbps), and Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps). With these data transmission protocols, the USB Type-C can transfer data. In addition, these protocols also partly determine how fast your external hard drive can be.
USB PD (Power Delivery) Protocol: It is one of the current mainstream fast charging protocols. It can increase power transmission through USB cables and connectors to expand the power supply capability of the USB cable bus. The power delivered can reach up to 100W. With this protocol, you can use the USB-Type-C to charge your phone and computer fast.
Display Port Protocol: It is a digital video transmission protocol that can transmit audio and video simultaneously. With this protocol, you can connect peripheral displays via corresponding adapters to output video and audio, or you can connect external discrete graphics cards to expand graphics performance.
At the same time, you have to face the fact that most of USB interfaces mounted on devices can only transfer data and use USB 3.0 protocol (not to mention USB 3.1 and USB 3.2). Some advanced USB interfaces may integrate USB 3.0 and DP (Display Port) to achieve both data and video transmission.
Only a few full-featured USB interfaces can integrate USB 3.0, DP, and USB PD to realize data transmission, video transmission, and fast charge.
As for Thunderbolt 3 interface, it is the top-level presentation of the USB Type-C interface. It uses Thunderbolt 3 protocol, which must integrate PCI-E data transmission technology and DP technology, but optionally integrate USD PD. In addition, the Thunderbolt 3 protocol is compatible with USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1.
Do you know what SSD drive is? This article will explain some SSD Terminologies and help you to fully understand SSD disk.
Best Thunderbolt External Hard Drives
After learning about USB-Type-C and Thunderbolt 3, you may want to know about Thunderbolt 3 hard drives. Thunderbolt 3 is currently the fastest interface in external storage devices. Due to the high transfer rate, the Thunderbolt 3 interface is usually mounted on SSDs to meet the demand for high-speed external disks.
If your computer has a Thunderbolt 3 interface and you need a high-speed external disk to complete some data to HDDs, because SSDs have the risk of data loss when they are not used often.
1. Format to Right File System
If your computer is a Windows PC, you should format it to NTFS, exFAT, etc. If your computer is a Mac PC, you should format it to APFS, HFS+, etc. Whether it is Windows or MAC, they have their own disk management tools to help you format the Thunderbolt external hard drive to a right file system.
Let's take Windows PC as an example. Follow the steps below to format your drive to NTFS file system:
Ipa font for mac os x. Step 1: Press 'Windows + R' keys simultaneously to call out Run box. Then, type 'diskmgmt.msc' into the Run dialogue box and hit Enter key to open Disk Management.
Step 2: Right-click the partition on the Thunderbolt external hard drive and then choose Format.. from the context menu.
Step 3: In the pop-up window, choose NTFS file system and keep other parameters as default. Then, click OK button to start the reformatting process.
2. 4K Alignment
To make the Thunderbolt external hard drive 4K aligned, you need the help of a third-party program like MiniTool Partition Wizard, in which 4k alignment is a free feature. If your computer is a Windows PC, MiniTool Partition Wizard is suitable for you. Refer to the following steps to 4k align the drive:
Step 1: Click the above button to free download MiniTool Partition Wizard. Then, install and launch it on your PC.
Step 2: Go to its main interface and right-click the partition on the Thunderbolt external hard drive. Then, choose Align.
Step 3: Click the Apply button to execute the pending operations.
3. Back up the Thunderbolt SSD
The simplest way is to use Copy/Cut + Paste feature. But if the files are too many or large, you can clone the drive. To clone the drive, you may also need the help of MiniTool Partition Wizard. Please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Download, install, and launch MiniTool Partition Wizard. Then, go to its main interface and right-click the partition on the Thunderbolt hard drive to choose Copy.
Step 2: Choose an Unallocated space as the destination and click Next button. Then, follow the wizard to finish the process.
Step 3: Click the Apply button to execute the pending operations.
Want to get best performance from SSD (solid state drive) in Windows 10/8.1/8/7? You can find step-by-step tutorials from this post.
Thunderbolt External Hard Drive FAQ
Certainly not, the Thunderbolt 1 and 2 use Mini DisaplyPort interface, not USB-Type-C. Thunderbolt 3 uses USB-Type-C port and you can distinguish it from USB-Type-C port by a lightning sign. It is the top-level presentation of the USB Type-C port.
However, the Thunderbolt 3 interface and USB-Type-C port are very different, because the USB-Type-C may lack some features.
To take advantages of Thunderbolt interface, the best Thunderbolt external hard drives are always SSDs. Here are 3 Thunderbolt external hard drive SSDs recommended for you:
- Samsung X5 Portable SSD
- OWC Envoy Pro EX (VE) Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD
- TEKQ Rapide Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD
Have this post answered your doubts about Thunderbolt interface and Thunderbolt hard drive? Do you have any difficulty in picking a suitable Thunderbolt external hard drive? Do you have difficulty in managing your hard drive?
If you have any problem, please leave a comment below or contact us via [email protected]. We will reply to you as soon as possible.
BestExternal Hard Drives for MaciMore2020
We understand that your data is important to you. Whether its personal documents, important work files, or just making sure you have everything you need to be backed up, you can never be too safe. External hard drives are not only useful for storing data but are an excellent way to transport files from one location to another. When you take into account price, ease of use, and portability, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the most reliable hard drive you can carry around with you at all times.
Best Overall: Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2 TB)
If you want a reliable external hard drive that has a decent amount of storage, is super easy to carry around and has a very affordable price tag, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the best option for most people. Formatted for Windows and Mac right out of the box, it's easy to carry all your essential documents from desktop to laptop without missing a beat.
The Seagate Dashboard back up system is a fantastic simple tool that can let you schedule backups to ensure you never miss any critical files you need in case something terrible happens to your computer. You can set automatic backups daily, weekly, or monthly, and change the frequency whenever you want.
Seagate also throws in a one-year complimentary subscription to Mylio Create. This can help you wrangle your photo library if you don't already use some photo managing tool, and a two-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan.
- Great backup software
- USB 3.0
- Metal enclosure
Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2 TB)
Reliable, portable, and affordable.
No lengthy setups or formatting procedures, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB is formatted for Mac right out of the packaging.
Best USB-C hard drive: Samsung T5 Portable SSD (1 TB)
This small compact SSD drive from Samsung comes with both a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A, meaning it's perfect to use with your MacBook or Mac.
Its fast 540 MB/s read and write speeds are more than enough to transfer any file. And should be able to store all your photo and video files with ease thanks to its straightforward software. Plus, if you're worried about encryption, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD has you covered with an optional password to launch the drive and AES 256-bit hardware encryption on all your files.
- Super compact
- AES 256-bit hardware encryption
Samsung T5 Portable SSD (1 TB)
Fast and encrypted
With 540 MB/s read and write speeds, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD is fast enough for photographers and videographers to transport all their work.
Source: Western Digital
Compatible with Time Machine right out of the box, the 8 TB storage capacity on the Western Digital My Book is perfect for people looking for a lot of stage at a reasonable price. It's USB 3.0, meaning it's easy to take advantage of its storage speed with fast transfer speeds.
While portability is not the Western Digital My Book's strong suit and it needs a separate power source, it does offer 256-AES encryption when you download its easy-to-use security software. It ensures all your important files and documents stay private.
If you're looking for a drive that has lots of space, os you don't have to have multiple as your storage needs grow, look no further.
- Lots of storage
- 256-AES encryption
- Time Machine compatible
Western Digital My Book (8TB)
Lots of storage for those who need it
Western Digital offers 256-AES encryption when you download its security software, meaning you can rest easy knowing your private information and personal data is safe.
Best Thunderbolt 3 Drive: LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt
LaCie hard drives have always been good for people on the go because of the rugged design. The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt can withstand some dust, dirt, and even a tiny bit of water being splashed on it.
It's 7200 RPM Hard drive keeps things running smoothly. And the included USB-C cable — which supports Thunderbolt 3 — makes it perfect for MacBook and Mac users alike!
- Only 130MB/s
Best Thunderbolt 3 Drive
LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt
Rugged design with Thunderbolt 3
The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt 3 is a favorite because it can withstand drops, dust, and even the occasional splash of water, making it easy to carry around!
Best for Legacy Hardware : G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB)
While Apple has been going the way of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 for a while now, some of us still use older hardware and thus don't need hard drives that have USB-C connections. If you're still rocking USB-A or even a Thunderbolt 2 connection from your Mac, the G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB) is a perfect companion.
Its all-metal design is not only more durable than plastic hard drives, but it also looks stylish! Plus, it's 7200 RPM speed allows the G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 to achieve 195 MB/s read and write speeds. This makes it fast enough to transfer large video files quickly and efficiently.
- Needs to be reformatted for Windows
Best for legacy hardware
G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB)
Stylish and fast even on older computers
With 7200 RPM, this hard drive works hard and fast to get your files transferred quickly. Plus, it uses USB 3.0, and it even has a Thunderbolt 2 port.
The CalDigit Tuff does the best it can to live up to its name, giving you a hard drive that isn't as delicate as most. Its official IP rating is IP57, meaning it can be submerged in 3-feet of water for 30 mins and come out the other side functional. That's not all; this Thunderbolt 3 compatible drive can also withstand falling from about 4-feet high. We still don't suggest that you purposely abuse the CalDigit Tuff. Still, it's always good to have peace of mind when you're carrying your hard drive around.
Thunderbolt External Drives
- Only come in 2TB
Best rugged drive
4 Tb Thunderbolt External Hard Drive For Os Xp
Can withstand drops and water
Official rated IP57, the CalDigit Tuff can survive an accidental dip into the water and has a great price tag.
4 Tb Portable Hard Drives
If you're used to dealing with giant file sizes and need a hard drive that can handle transfer data fast, the Samsung X5 is one of the fastest SSD's you'll find. Its read and write speeds are 2,800MB/s and 2,300MB/s, respectively, and the entire body is made of metal, making it much harder than plastic drives. Plus, The internal frame on the inside is shock resistant for drops from 2 meters.
This SSD comes with Thunderbolt 3 technology included. This you can take advantage of the fast speeds on your Mac or MacBook Pro, and it doesn't need any formatting, so it's plug and play!
- 2,800MB/s read speed
- Shock resistant
- Thunderbolt 3
Best fast drive
Incredibly fast SSD
If you need blazing fast speeds for giant files, the Samsung X5 is a monster external SSD that can handle any workload.
The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the most reliable hard drive you can carry around with you at all times. It is formatted for both Mac and Windows right out of the box, and its easy-to-use software can automatically do backups for you as often or as little as you want.
Seagate also throws in a one-year complimentary subscription to Mylio Create. This program can help you wrangle your photo library if you don't already use some photo managing tool. A two-month membership to Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan means it's perfect for budding photographers as well.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Luke Filipowicz is an iMore staff writer who has been carrying around his Seagate Backup Plus Slim since his college days.
Lory Gil is the Managing Editor of iMore and an avid believer in having as many backups of your important files and documents as possible.
Rene Ritchie is the foremost authority on all things Apple and has insider knowledge about the goings-on at the biggest tech company in the world. When it comes to accessories for Mac, Rene has used them all.
2 Tb External Hard Drive
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